Round 1, 2013 – Melbourne Storm 30 defeated St. George Illawara Dragons 10
AAMI Park, Crowd: 16,251
Melbourne Storm 30
Tries: Justin O’Neill 2, Mahe Fonua, Billy Slater, Gareth Widdop
Goals: Cameron Smith 5
St. George Illawara Dragons 10
Tries: Jason Nightingale, Jamie Soward
Goals: Jamie Soward
1. Billy Slater, 2. Matthew Duffie, 3. Will Chambers, 4. Justin O’Neill, 5. Mahe Fonua, 6. Gareth Widdop, 7. Cooper Cronk, 8. Jesse Bromwich, 9. Cameron Smith (c), 11. Tohu Harris, 12. Ryan Hoffman, 13. Ryan Hinchcliffe, 14. Jason Ryles, 15. Lagi Setu, 16. Siosaia Vave, 17. Junior Moors, 19. Slade Griffin.
Coach: Craig Bellamy
St. George Illawara Dragons
1. Gerard Beale, 2. Brett Morris, 3. Chase Stanley, 4. Matt Cooper, 5. Jason Nightingale, 6. Jamie Soward, 7. Nathan Fien, 8. Dan Hunt, 9. Mitch Rein, 10. Michael Weyman, 11. Tyson Frizell, 12. Ben Creagh (c), 13. Trent Merrin, 14, Bronson Harrison, 15. Leeson Ah Mau, 16. Matt Prior, 17. Cameron King
Coach: Steven Price
Melbourne Storm kicked off the 2013 NRL campaign with a convincing win 20-point win over St. George Illawara Dragons at AAMI Park.
Storm followed on from a successful World Club Challenge victory two weeks earlier, claiming their first win of the new NRL season.
Fielding two debutants, Tohu Harris and Slade Griffin, Melbourne capitalised early in the match through fullback Billy Slater who managed to slip through the Dragons defence in trademark fashion.
New South Wales Origin representative Brett Morris battled hard for the visitors for much of the afternoon, providing a dangerous outlet on the wing.
In a match where both sides displayed solid defensive structures, it was the Dragons who slipped up first. Storm five-eighth, Gareth Widdop, intercepted a Nathan Fein kick and managed to run the length of the field to stretch the lead for the home side.
Storm was able to make it to the try line again before half time with Justin O’Neill completing his double, helping the home side to an 18-point lead at the break.
Jamie Soward sparked a comeback for the visitors with a full-length try to begin the second half. Jason Nightingale struck again shortly after, further closing the gap before Mahe Fonua put the result out of reach with under 10 minutes remaining, finishing off some impressive teamwork from Craig Bellamy’s side.